In This Moment

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Karen Kingsbury comes a brand-new Baxter Family novel about a beloved high school principal who starts a Bible Study to improve the lives of his struggling students, only to become the national focus of a controversial lawsuit.

Hamilton High Principal Wendell Quinn is tired of the violence, drug abuse, teen pregnancies, and low expectations at his Indianapolis school. A single father of four, Quinn is a Christian and a family man. He wants to see change in his community, so he starts a voluntary after-school Bible Study and prayer program. He knows he is risking his job by leading the program, but the high turnout at every meeting encourages him.

A year later, violence and gang activity are down, test scores are up, and drug use and teen pregnancy have plummeted. The program is clearly working—until one parent calls the press. Now Quinn faces a lawsuit that could ruin everything.

With a storm of national attention and criticism, Quinn is at a crossroads—he must choose whether to cave in and shut down the program or stand up for himself and his students. The battle comes with a high cost, and Quinn wants just one attorney on his side for this fight: Luke Baxter. In This Moment is an inspiring, relevant story about the nuances of religious freedom and how a group of determined people just might restore the meaning of faith in today’s culture.

I’ll be up front, I’ve been a fan of Karen Kingsbury forever. My mom was reading her books for years then when I got older and wanted more than my Teen genre had to offer she began recommending Kingsbury. I fell in love. Her books give you a chance to relax and get away from the stress of the world while believing happily ever afters are possible and your faith can get you through anything.

This is the first time ever I felt like I had to force myself to finish and it was not an enjoyable experience.

I’m extremely sure those who are cheerleading Christians, those who feel victimized by the world for being Christian, very fundamentalists, whatever label you’d fall under are going to LOVE this book. Why do I think that? Because it’s not so much a fictional story as a playbook for how to fight the evil, liberal, American society that is hell bent on ridding itself of the Christian faith. At least that is the picture painted here.

Maybe I’m just burned out and tired over the liberal versus Christian fight that seems to be filling my social media on a daily basis. Maybe it’s being an Irish Catholic in the United States, even worse being an Irish Catholic in the south part of the States where only Protestant faiths are revered, that has created this hard coating to my ability to enjoy this stuff anymore.

Whatever the reason I just had a hard time reading this to the point I kept putting it down and finally had to force myself to read 1-2 chapters at a time just so I could finally finish. I felt she painted the characters in completely unrealistic situations such as when one teacher has her students bring their favorite book to class to talk about. One of the students, whose mother is volunteering in the classroom that day, brought her bible and the teacher immediately tells her she can’t talk about it. The mother proceeds to take the teacher out of the classroom and give her this lecture about how her daughter can talk about the bible and the way the teacher just rolled over and allowed the parent to dictate how her classroom would be handled was unbelievable. I’m not saying the parent was wrong or the teacher was wrong in their belief I’m just saying the dialogue and actions used were completely unrealistic. Through the vast majority of the book though it was like that where liberals were painted as being idiotic and conservatives were painted as being the only intelligent ones.

You also receive more legal language and law history than I thought possible to weave into a fictional story. It very much reads like a history of how the Christian faith has been under attack in the States and comes off like one gigantic middle finger to the liberal viewpoint.

I just felt like Kingsbury is extraordinary pissed at the liberal population in the US and poured forth all her anger into this story. I’m sure those who agree with her position are going to use this as their bible and take notes of all the legal issues and laws she poured into it to help them use their kids to fight their adult war through the next generation.

I just wanted to escape from the bickering for a little while not be dragged through it on the pages of a book.

Thank you to Netgalley and Howard Books for allowing me to review this!

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